Down 33-30 after three quarters of play, the Lady Cats outscored Hartville 11-5 in the fourth quarter to post a hard-earned 41-38 win Jan. 22 at Thayer High School.
The Lady Eagles led 14-12 after one, before Thayer re-grouped to grab a 22-21 advantage at intermission.
Whitney Mills paced Thayer with 16 points, while Kaley Hebert added 10 and Samantha Oakes nine. Lacey Hawkins finished with three, Lauren Hargus tallied two and Laken Martin one for the Lady Bobcats.
The Lady Bobcats punched their ticket to the championship game with a 55-50 victory over the second-seeded Eminence Lady Redwings Jan. 21.
Thayer focused its defense at stopping guards Kelsey and Brooke Williams.
The Lady Redwings attempted to pressure the Lady Cats' point guard, Oakes, in the back court, but to no avail.
Double and sometimes triple teams could not contain the quickness and strength of Oakes.
Oakes was able to find team mates Hebert, Mills or Hargus on the break.
With all of the focus on guard play out front, Martin had an outstanding game down low, by racking up points in the paint and swiping rebounds.
The Lady Bobcats only held a two-point margin, 10-8, at the end of one.
Mills took some of the pressure off Oakes and Hebert with silk-swishing motion from the arch to push the Lady Cats out to a 26-14 advantage at the break.
Eminence kept within range during quarter number three, but trailed the Lady Bobcats 41-31 going to the fourth.
Thayer gave up 19 points in the final quarter while only netting 14, but that was enough to hold the upper hand at the final buzzer to advance to the championship game.
Couch's trip to the finals was cut short, thanks to a 42-34 by the Hartville Lady Eagles Jan. 21.
The game was a see-saw battle that kept fans on the edge of their seats, right until the final buzzer. Hartville was able to control the tempo and make free throws down the stretch to walk away with the eight-point victory over the Lady Indians.
Crystal Britt paced Couch with 18 points. Lizzie Nessling added 11.
In round-two of pool-two play, Koshkonong showed a lot of grit against the Thayer Lady Bobcats. But the Lady Jays were out-matched by the quickness and scrapping defense of the Lady Cats and fell behind early.
Thayer's rough-and-tumble style pushed the Lady Bobcats out to a 22 point lead, 26-4, after one, en route to a 79-29 victory.
In round two of pool-one play Jan. 19, the fourth-seeded Hartville Lady Eagles pushed past Alton 70-57.
The Lady Comets battled hard, but just could not contain the well-rounded shooting, quick defense and game savvy of Hartville.
Alton kept it fairly close in the first quarter, with Hartville racing out to a 34-20 lead at the half.
Although the Lady Comets scored 21 points in the third, Hartville managed 19 to keep a 12-point lead, 53-41, going into the final set.
Alex Hower scored 18 points to lead Alton, while Becca See added 14, Cassie Benson had 12 and Lacey Hodge 10 for the Lady Comets.
In the first round of play Jan. 18, top-seeded Couch edged past fifth-seeded Alton by the count of 51-46.
With only a three-point advantage, 11-8 at the end of one, the Lady Indians pushed ahead in the second quarter.
Alton cut the deficit back to only two points late in the frame, and Couch held a 23-21 advantage at the halftime break.
The Lady Indians scored 12 points to the Lady Comets' eight in the third, keeping Couch in the lead three, 35-29.
The final quarter was a battle with every dribble of the ball, every rebound and every shot contested.
But free throws in the last seconds of the fourth gave Couch a 51-46 victory.
Koshkonong had its hands full with the fast-flying Eminence Lady Redwings later in the evening, leaving the Lady Jays with a 64-48 loss.
The Lady Redwings were out on the break early and often and the young six-seeded Lady Bluejays just could not keep up.
Eminence led 24-6 after one, 30-14 at intermission and 51-24 heading into the final frame.